Game 77: Late Offense Gives Rays 5-2 Win Over Houston

By Fletcher Keel

The Tampa Bay Rays clinched a series victory over the Houston Astros with a 5-2 victory Sunday afternoon, behind a 3-for-4 day from Evan Longoria, in which he also drove in a run and came across the plate once himself.

While the first three games of this series saw near flawless pitching performances from Rays’ starters, Erik Bedard wasn’t as strong, but got the job done nonethless, going 5.1 innings of two run baseball and allowed seven hits but made up for it and then some by striking out eight batters. The Rays went deep in their bullpen today, as they used four other pitches for the final 3.2 innings.

The Astros got a strong performance from their starter, Alex Keuchel, as he went the distance in a loss and only allowed one run through seven innings pitched. The Rays wound up taking the lead after loading the bases with nobody out and put a three spot up in the bottom of the sixth, and added an extra insurance run in the bottom of the eighth. Keuchel had a very uncharacteristic back half of his performance, as coming into the day, opposing hitters were hitting under .200 off of him from the 61st pitch and beyond, but the Rays offense did great work (and the ‘Stros defense didn’t exactly put on a clinic) to turn that trend around on it’s head, and take the game in the late innings.

There’ll be no rest for the weary, as the Rays will be right back at it tomorrow for interleague action, as Alex Cobb will take his 2-5, 3.48 ERA line against the 4-6, 4.67 Edinson Volquez and the Pittsburgh Pirates. First pitch is slated for 7:10 from the Trop.